2nd time’s the charm for Hong Kong

Posted: November 3, 2015 in Travelogue
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It was way back in September 2011 when we first tried out Hong Kong. It was not a pleasant one mind you because the moment we landed, we bought an Octopus card that proved to be detrimental to our first taste of Hong Kong. Not only did we not understand why we cannot get out even if the card was fully loaded with HK$100 each, we also did not understand what the guy at the front desk kept shouting in broken English. Out of exasperation we just bought new MRT cards and finally got out. The guesthouse mama booked had two beds, where one was lopsided. The curtains were old and had a big hole to accommodate the aircon. Food was not good either and we were perennially lost. So overall, aside from Disneyland, that Hong Kong trip was a big bust.

So we gave Hong Kong another shot. We wanted to be better prepared and go to other tourist places we haven’t gone to last time.


First stop, we need to get to our guesthouse. To get there we need to know what bus to ride. The challenge, we lost one bus card and we had to either find it or buy another one (note though that one trip costs HK$33). As luck would have it we found the card on the same window we bought the cards from. An hour or so we again met another setback, the bus will not be able to run its full course. The roads leading to where we were going were closed for some road improvement works. Mind you it was a very long walk and at the end of the walk was a long queue going up the elevator to our guesthouse. It was way past 10 when we arrived inside our room. It was a bit of an improvement to the last one we were in because the beds were a bit bigger, there was a working TV and aside from the toilet we have inside the room, there were two others outside.

Sleep was blissful. The plan was to go to Ocean Park and spend the entire day there. We had a great brunch at a Chinese eatery. The service was fast and efficient. Despite the language barrier, our orders were served correctly. We savored the food which was more than a plateful. I hardly finished mine before we decided to go to a 7-11 and buy us the tickets. The MRT ride remained an adventure. It was fast and economical. The transit can carry thousands of people to and fro without missing a beat. Also even if the entire station was filled to the rafters, everyone can get to their destination quickly and comfortably. No one looked stressed at waiting for the next train. It was always on schedule.

At Ocean Park, long queue for the biggest aquarium. But that was why we were there, so see the sea creatures up close and personal. I know they ought to be set free and allowed to live in their natural habitat but at somehow I feel they have adapted wonderfully. The seals, otters, sea lions etc can maneuver through their glass habitats flawlessly. I stared in awe at how truly amazing they look, how untamed, how natural they moved, how magical.

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The grand aquarium houses  5,000 fish from over 400 species. My brother even marveled at the manta ray which kept on flying by as if water was merely air. It was as majestic as it was surreal to see several of them up close.


But the park is not just meant for the water world. The park also offers other attractions. We did try to see the pandas but they were too busy for us, they remained inside their make shift rooms far from the prying eyes of their human brothers. We rode the roller coaster and I got the fright of my life yet again. The way it turned, twisted and tumbled along the rails was nerve wracking and am grateful God gave me back my soul when the ride ended.

We went around to sample their food. It was expensive but not delicious at all. The fish balls or whatever they were assaulted my not so fine pallet. The drinks were not cold too. At such an exorbitant price, the least food vendors at the park can do was serve ice cold drinks. Lucky for us there was a Mc Donald’s in the heart of the park. Took some time before we managed to order a meal but we devoured everything like there was no tomorrow. Even my mom who never finished a meal, had her fill of fries and hamburger.

The next tummy churning, sanity reducing ride we got into was the cable car. Okay, to be honest who would not feel nauseated being rocked to and fro by a strong wind while slowly going downhill inside a metal ball with only steel bars as cover? Raise your hands please. That was the longest, single most frightening ride of my life, good thing I did not puke my brains out.

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Second day was Madame Tussauds day. I was expecting to be able to hob nob with actual celebrities I know of. Sadly most of those in the wax museum were figures of celebrities mostly know in China or Hong Kong I guess. There were no Robert Downey, no Leonardo di Caprio, no Chris Evans or even Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, and the likes. For me it was rather lackluster in terms of novelty. I ended up often asking who the heck is this then I move on to another who the heck is this now? There was more confusion rather than memories…also the lay out was rather uneventful. The rooms could have been better conceptualized for a smoother transition rather than being thrown off kilter with confusing themes (note what is this now? where the what huh?)

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All in all, even if the typhoon ruined our other plans and soaked us to the bones each time we attempted to venture out, this second trip was far memorable than the first one. We know now not to get duped with tea servings, because that can turn out to be too costly without us even knowing or drinking them.


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